Emanuel to launch unprecedented humility initiative | Bleader

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Emanuel to launch unprecedented humility initiative

Posted By on 04.09.15 at 02:30 PM

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Mayor Emanuel was caught laughing at his own joke yesterday at the Carole Robertson Center for Learning. But that likely wont happen again as the mayor leads Chicago on a major new humility campaign.
  • Joshua Lott/Getty Images
  • Mayor Emanuel was caught laughing at his own joke yesterday at the Carole Robertson Center for Learning. But that likely won't happen again as the mayor leads Chicago on a major new humility campaign.
"Chicago Is Waiting to See if Runoff Battle Has Humbled Rahm Emanuel," this morning's New York Times reports.

But we're not waiting with bated breath, I'd say. Emanuel experts I surveyed were split on how long his humility period would last. Some thought it would be only a week, while others said that was unduly optimistic.

The mayor has his work cut out for him. Arrogance was nurtured in Rahm and his two brothers, his older brother Ezekiel acknowledged in Brothers Emanuel. The message the brothers got from their parents, Ezekiel wrote, was that "Emanuels did not have to accommodate to the world; the world had to accommodate to them."

The mayor likes a challenge, though, and a source in his administration said the mayor will tackle humility with his customary intensity. "He's told us that 'A world-class city deserves world-class humility,'" the source said. "He wants us to be second to none on humility. He plans to hit the ground running in his second term and get humility points on the board quickly."

The source observed that a shortage of humility has long been a trait of Chicago mayors—it didn't begin with Emanuel. But he allowed that the city's humility deficit has reached a critical level under Emanuel. "We've been kicking the can down the road on humility for too long, but that's finally going to change," the source said.

The mayor is considering appointing a humility transition team, and asking Jesus "Chuy" Garcia to chair it, according to the source. Or he may make Garcia his new humility coach.

But Emanuel doubts that government alone can adequately respond to the humility deficit, the source said, and so he's also looking to the private sector for help. Goldman Sachs and other investors have already offered to fund the initiative with humility impact bonds if a deal can be structured that incentivizes the trait. "Benchmarks could be set on the number of mistakes acknowledged by the administration, or hours spent listening," the source told us.

If humility isn't privatized, Emanuel likely will establish a new Chicago Department of Humility, the source said. The department's duties are uncertain, but a large public relations staff would issue regular updates on the mayor's humility innovations.

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